Unveiling The first cohort of Funguo Investees

FUNGUO Programme (FUNGUO) unveiled its first cohort of investees after the conclusion of its first Call for Funding Applications. The call was launched mid-June, targeting Tanzanian impact-driven startups and innovative SMEs with growth potential. In this first funding window, 26 successful innovative businesses were selected out of the 363 submitted applications from across the country, from crucial sectors ranging from agriculture, tourism, fishery, health, and education, and are primarily tech-enabled. The call had been well received, attracting 934 potential applicants who registered on the online application portal, showing a high demand for catalytic funding for early-stage businesses in the country.

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The total grant disbursed to 26 finalists in the funding round
The funding is part of Funguo’s intervention that aims to contribute towards increasing the number of successfully scaled impact-driven start-ups and innovative SMEs to accelerate the achievement of SDGs in Tanzania. This will be achieved through the program’s integrated approach to contribute towards addressing the stumbling blocks and gaps in the innovation ecosystem that hinder innovative impact ventures from scaling while promoting an environment that empowers innovators, entrepreneurs, and enablers. Besides the catalytic funding, FUNGUO investees will benefit from additional technical assistance, profiling, and showcasing to assist them in attracting further investment.  

Mr. Hans Stausboll, Director at the Directorate General for International Partnerships of the European Commission, stated that the EU is continuously increasing its funding in favor of the growth and investment of the private sector in Tanzania. He gave as an example the two-day business forum planned in February 2023 to facilitate discussions among business, government, and political leadership for increased investments and partnership between Tanzania and Europe. “Our latest programs aim at private sector development through enhanced ICT, increased finance access, or business environment improvements. The role of the private sector, notably the youth, is catalytic for the prosperity and transformation of Tanzania. The Funguo program is an excellent instance of our commitment towards this agenda”, he added.

Eduarda Mendonca-Gray, Deputy Development Director at the British High Commission, shared, ‘The FCDO is pleased to build on the legacy UK-funded program, the Human Development Innovation Fund (HDIF), through the innovative Funguo platform.  Investment in innovation and technology is critical to advance Tanzania’s development ambition; the UK is proud to partner with the Government and other partners to identify and improve opportunities for youth in Tanzania.”

The UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Christine Musisi, highlighted how UNDP is focused on unlocking the potential of young people through a mix of interventions, including catalytic funding to their ventures, contributing towards improving the support system and the innovation-enabling environment. “UNDP believes that the more start-ups and innovative MSMEs are supported and scaled, the more jobs will be created for women and youths, and more income will be generated, leading to quality livelihoods and sustainable and inclusive development,” she said.